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Coronavirus: The Thread

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Coronavirus: The Thread

Old 24th Jul 2021, 22:33
  #16621 (permalink)  
 
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Source: New Scientist Covid News

Longer interval between first and second Pfizer/BioNTech jabs may boost antibody responses

A preliminary study found that a longer gap between the first and second doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine may boost the immune response. The study measured coronavirus antibody responses in 503 healthcare workers in England who received two doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at different intervals in late 2020 and early 2021, at a time when the alpha coronavirus variant was becoming dominant. They compared a three-week gap and a 10-week gap between the first and second shot, and found that those who had the longer period between the two generated more neutralising antibodies, which can bind the virus and stop it from infecting cells.

Given the current dominance of the highly transmissible delta coronavirus variant, Susanna Dunachie at the University of Oxford, who was involved in the study, told the BBC that an eight-week interval may be best to ensure people can get fully vaccinated as quickly as possible without compromising immunity. “Eight weeks is about the sweet spot for me, because people do want to get the two vaccine [doses] and there is a lot of delta out there right now,” said Dunachie.

The UK government extended the dosing gap for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to 12 weeks in December 2020, but on 15 July NHS England announced it would start asking people to bring forward their second covid-19 vaccine to eight weeks if possible.
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 00:11
  #16622 (permalink)  
 
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From the Sunday Telegraph 25 July. The NHS Covid App may have to be closed down, though not for “ pingdemic “ reasons but more for the privacy issue I mentioned

When Covid eases, NHS app must be scrapped’


THE NHS Covid-19 app must be “decommissioned” once the pandemic eases, the UK’s privacy tsar has said as she warned ministers against “mission creep”.

Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner, said her office would take action against the Government if it “overreached” and the app strayed from its limited emergency contact-tracing function. She made the comments as ministers look to alter the app in the wake of the “pingdemic” which is causing widespread disruption for industry and business as hundreds of thousands of people have received self-isolate notifications.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, the commissioner, who is due to step down at the end of October, also warned ministers that the public is “very suspicious” of any scheme that resembles ID cards and that any use of domestic vaccine passports has to be time-limited.

Ministers are coming under increasing pressure over the NHS Covid-19 app, which pinged a record 600,000 people this week, leading to transport disruption and fears of food shortages as workers isolated en masse.

Ms Denham said the app had been a “necessary” tool for the Government at the height of the pandemic, but her office is now watching its development closely.

When it was initially developed last year, ministers had wanted to build a version of the app that would collect anonymised data on users into a single large NHS database. However, they had to backtrack and switch over to a version built by Apple and Google that keeps more of users’ data on their phones – a move that allayed many initial concerns over privacy.

Ms Denham said she is now keen to guard against “function creep” and the possibility of Whitehall evolving the app into a more permanent feature of British life. She said: “We will be watching the evolution of the app very carefully. My modus operandi has always been how can we help Government get this right and build in privacy to these innovations. At the end of the day, if there is a contravention of the law with the app or overreach in its use then we will take action.”

Ms Denham added: “The focus of our office will be how it is used next, how else is it going to be used and how it will be decommissioned when it is no longer necessary.”

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is also advising the Government on plans to use vaccine passports domestically for the first time when nightclub goers will have to present them to enter venues from September.

She said ministers had to ensure that any such measures are time-limited to deal specifically with the pandemic and not allowed to evolve into a more permanent regime.

Commenting on the plans for domestic vaccine passports, Ms Denham said: “The questions we have to ask ourselves are: is it fair? Is it proportionate? And is it necessary?”


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Old 25th Jul 2021, 05:11
  #16623 (permalink)  
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There are those who, given their views, will doubtless applaud this crass and insulting statement as it would appear to support their own.

The criticisms contained in the article however are considerably more representative .

When it comes to "cowering ", yep, we and millions of others did indeed "cower" by virtue of self isolating along with following the criteria for being in the proximity of others in public.

Maybe he was thinking of the rest of the Gov't whose reaction to the pandemic was to cower from taking responsibility for the UK populations health.

Sajid Javid criticised for 'cower' Covid remark - BBC News
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 06:33
  #16624 (permalink)  
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People and press looking for an opportunity to take offence.
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 07:29
  #16625 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Krystal n chips View Post
There are those who, given their views, will doubtless applaud this crass and insulting statement as it would appear to support their own.

The criticisms contained in the article however are considerably more representative .

When it comes to "cowering ", yep, we and millions of others did indeed "cower" by virtue of self isolating along with following the criteria for being in the proximity of others in public.

Maybe he was thinking of the rest of the Gov't whose reaction to the pandemic was to cower from taking responsibility for the UK populations health.

Sajid Javid criticised for 'cower' Covid remark - BBC News
Thing is, and what Javid fails to have noticed, is that the people that are "cowering" are in a group that have been double vaccinated, still take all the pre "freedom day" precautions, but have been scared sh1tless by the media and government over the last 18 months.

The element that can't be bothered to get vaccinated probably aren't "cowering" at all and carrying on regardless believing that they are invincible, or that the vaccine implants some sort of controlling chip into their bodies.
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 08:09
  #16626 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
Thing is, and what Javid fails to have noticed, is that the people that are "cowering" are in a group that have been double vaccinated, still take all the pre "freedom day" precautions, but have been scared sh1tless by the media and government over the last 18 months.

The element that can't be bothered to get vaccinated probably aren't "cowering" at all and carrying on regardless believing that they are invincible, or that the vaccine implants some sort of controlling chip into their bodies.
This may account for the current drop in cases. The models are very sensitive to the amount of public mixing which is a hard quantity to get right. If the carry on regardless group have been mixing substantially before July 19, then the impact of “Freedom Day” will be negligible as the bug will have been doing its rounds in that group for some time. Meanwhile, Javid’s cowerers will not have changed behaviour as a result of July 19 and some may even cower harder. Then we have the recent roll out of the vaccine to those young’uns that were sensible enough to get jabbed which will dilute the spread among the devil may care group.

Well, it’s a theory!
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 08:26
  #16627 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ninthace View Post
This may account for the current drop in cases. The models are very sensitive to the amount of public mixing which is a hard quantity to get right. If the carry on regardless group have been mixing substantially before July 19, then the impact of “Freedom Day” will be negligible as the bug will have been doing its rounds in that group for some time. Meanwhile, Javid’s cowerers will not have changed behaviour as a result of July 19 and some may even cower harder. Then we have the recent roll out of the vaccine to those young’uns that were sensible enough to get jabbed which will dilute the spread among the devil may care group.

Well, it’s a theory!
If new daily cases remain below the 50k mark during the coming week, that is 7+ days after the much maligned freedom day, then it is likely that your theory has some gravitas.

Anecdotally we had to take a 18 month old grand daughter for a PCR after she was kicked out of nursery on Friday with a high temperature and sniffles (standard fare for a toddler!!). I went on to the NHS website at around 15:00 Friday afternoon and was amazed that I could firstly actually get an appointment same afternoon (the 16:30 - 17:00 slot) and second that the website was showing in excess of 200 available appointments that day. That suggests to me that case incidence must be falling hereabouts - grand daughter incidentally, and totally unsurprisingly, was negative, thank heavens! Result came through at around 11:00 yesterday, which I don't think was too shabby.
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 08:41
  #16628 (permalink)  
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Russian Flu

Never knew about the Russian Flu… the rest is interesting as well….

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/c...grip-zsxrk2w26

Cheer up, Covid is losing its grip

Doctors and nurses were among the first to be struck down by the virus. The prime minister was incapacitated for weeks, parliament was closed, education was disrupted. In the darkest days of the crisis, Norwood Cemetery in south London held 200 funerals a day.

This was Britain during a pandemic. The year was not 2020, though, but 1890, and the disease was not Covid-19 but Russian flu. It tore around the world, killing 125,000 people in the UK and one million globally.

The similarities between that pandemic and today’s are uncanny. Symptoms reported by doctors 130 years ago included dry coughing, a sudden fever and, for many, a lost sense of smell. Some survivors were struck by a lingering depression and lack of energy that left them debilitated for months. The saving grace of the virus was that children were affected much less than adults.

Many virologists now believe that the 1890 outbreak was caused not by flu at all, but rather by a coronavirus that jumped from cows to humans, in much the same way that Sars-Cov-2 is believed to have leapt from bats to humans.

So what can we learn from that crisis? When was the so-called Russian “flu” eradicated? And above all, what does it tell us about when the current pandemic will end?….

The virus that first struck Britain in 1890 also hit the country in waves. Four big surges swept across the nation until 1894, with further sporadic outbreaks until 1900, when the pandemic fizzled out.

But the virus never disappeared. In fact, there is some evidence it may still be among us, passed from person to person as a key cause of winter sniffles. A Belgian study published in 2005 suggested the Russian outbreak may have been caused by what is now known as OC43, one of four coronaviruses that between them cause 20 per cent of common colds in the UK.

Paul Hunter, professor of health protection at the University of East Anglia, believes Sars-Cov-2 will follow a similar trajectory and eventually become endemic, a seasonal virus that circulates every winter but does not cause serious problems. “The virus is here for the long term,” he said. “Our grandchildren’s grandchildren are going to get Covid. But for them it won’t be a big deal.”

The question, of course, is how long will that process take? That our distant descendants will no longer be affected by the pandemic is faintly reassuring, but how much more of this upheaval will we have to endure ourselves?

Few experts are willing to gaze into the crystal ball and give a definitive answer — Covid-19 has surprised us too many times — but Hunter believes the process is already under way, driven by the vaccines. “The symptom profile of cases is now changing, resembling less the Covid disease of last year and looking more like a common cold,” he said.

Dr Julian Tang, clinical virologist at the University of Leicester, guesses that it will take three to five years for Covid-19 to become fully endemic in the UK, but stresses we will not be truly safe for the five to ten years it takes to complete global vaccination. David Matthews, professor of virology at Bristol, is slightly more optimistic. “It will take several years to reach an endemic state, but I would say that once this wave is done, that’s probably the worst of it.”

Francois Balloux, director of the University College London Genetics Institute, has an even more hopeful outlook. “If you were extremely optimistic, and not afraid of hurting people’s feelings, you could say the pandemic is already borderline over. If we use a criteria that says if it is not causing more morbidity and mortality than any other virus in circulation, then I will be surprised if it were still the most deadly virus in circulation by next spring.”….

In the 1890s it took four years for enough people in the UK to become infected for immunity to reach significant levels, and then another five years of sporadic outbreaks until the virus settled into an endemic pattern. This time that process has been artificially accelerated by vaccines. About 88 per cent of adults in the UK have now received a vaccine and 69 per cent have had two doses. Add to that the many young people who have been exposed via natural infection and there is a very high level of immunity in the UK.…..

The consequence of herd immunity is also different to that envisaged last year. “It’s not a case of, ‘We reach herd immunity and the virus will just go away’,” Matthews said. “There is no avoiding this virus now.” The aim, he said, is “a kind of truce. We will all catch it, several times. But because you’ve been vaccinated or you’ve had it before, you won’t die.”…..


In many ways, the country has reached the limits of what it can do to control the virus. Unless the government decides to inoculate under-18s — which its scientific advisers last week cautioned against — vaccination levels are very close to reaching their maximum.

Hunter also backs the lifting of restrictions and believes continuing to lock down could do more harm than good. He also believes the time has come to end the “pingdemic”, by bringing forward the date at which vaccinated Covid contacts are spared from self-isolating (currently August 16). “The requirement to quarantine after being pinged because you are a casual contact has little if any value in controlling the epidemic,” he said.

Ball puts it differently. “Perhaps August 16 is when the pandemic ends in the UK,” he said. Now vaccination has ended the risk of severe disease for most, the biggest fear for many is having to spend ten days in isolation.

Once again, the parallels with 1890 are apt. According to a 1995 history of Britain’s Russian flu outbreak, published in the Social History of Medicine journal, the crisis “touched most sufferers lightly, but it nonetheless cast thousands into an indeterminate, threatening situation”.

The Covid pandemic has undoubtedly been tragic. Yet for those who have not been struck down or bereaved, the biggest impact has been the chaos, the uncertainty, the indeterminate threat.
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 08:42
  #16629 (permalink)  
 
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As Ninthace has pointed out, the longer gap between vaccinations as used in the UK seems to have boosted antibody response compared to the results from Israel where there has been an observed decline over three months or so. This is not good news for the US where, not only have they used the shorter gap between vaccinations, but they have a large proportion of the population who have not been vaccinated. This means that the high transmissivity of the Delta variant will certainly mean that the current increase in cases will continue for some time.
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 09:03
  #16630 (permalink)  
 
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To long to copy all of it but since ORAC kindly brought the subject up,
Looks like someone in the Times has been browsing back numbers of New Scientist

.https://prod-newscientistuk-rbi.cont...pig_index.html

https://prod-newscientistuk-rbi.cont...pig_index.html

https://prod-newscientistuk-rbi.cont...pig_index.html

A snippet from the first link.

IN 1889, a disease outbreak in central Asia went global, igniting a pandemic that burned into the following year. It caused feverand fatigue, and killed an estimated 1 million people. The disease is generally blamed on influenza, and was dubbed “Russian flu“. But with no tissue samples to check for the flu virus, there is no conclusive proof.

Another possibility is that this “flu” was actually a coronavirus pandemic. The finger has been pointed at a virus first isolated in the 1960s, though today it causes nothing more serious than a common cold. In fact, there are four coronaviruses responsible for an estimated 20 to 30 per cent of colds. Only recently have virologists begun to dig into these seemingly humdrum pathogens and what they have found suggests the viruses have a far more deadly past. Researchers now believe that all four of these viruses began to infect humans in the past few centuries and, when they did, they probably sparked pandemics.

The parallels with our current crisis are obvious. And it turns out that our growing knowledge about these other coronaviruses could be vital in meeting the challenge of covid-19. Insights into the origins, trajectories and features of common cold coronaviruses can provide crucial clues about what to expect in the coming months and years. Understanding these relatively benign viruses may also help us avoid another pandemic.

Coronaviruses are a big family of viruses that are mainly known for causing diseases in livestock. Until recently, few virologists paid them much attention. “Human coronaviruses were recognised in the 1960s,” says Frank Esper at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. But the two strains that were discovered then merely caused the common cold. “We pushed them to the side,” he says. “We had more important viruses to work on.”

This blasé attitude evaporated in 2002 when a new member of the coronavirus family began infecting humans. By the time the epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was brought under control the following year, the SARS-CoV-1 virus hadaffected 26 countries and killed one in 10 of the 8000 plus people it infected. The fact that a coronavirus could be so deadly was a wake-up call. A sleepy backwater in the world of virology was suddenly in the spotlight.

SARS-CoV-1 was soon traced back to its roots. Related viruses were discovered in bats, animals whose unusual physiologyallows them to live with a cornucopia of coronaviruses without falling ill. The SARS outbreak seems to have been sparked when one of these bat viruses started infecting civet cats, and moved from this intermediate host to humans

Coronaviruses have proteins on their surface, which act like a key that unlocks different cells in different host species. These proteins can shape-shift as a result of genetic mutations, or when the viruses swap genetic material with one another, opening new doors to new hosts. That these hosts might be humans was made worryingly clear by the SARS outbreak. Caught off guard, virologists embarked on a coronavirus safari, tracking them down in people and wildlife in an attempt to understand how these changes might happen and the potential future risks.

One virus hunter was already ahead of the game. Lia van der Hoek at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands had been perfecting a genetic technique to discover unknown viruses and had recently found another coronavirus, HCoV-NL63, in a 7-month-old child with bronchiolitis. “I found NL63 by accident, before we knew about SARS, and the whole world starting screening,” she says. A decade of subsequent research revealed that NL63 is widespread, turning up in between 1 and 9 per cent of people with respiratory tract infections around the world. It causes fever, coughs, sore throats, bronchitis and pneumonia. Children are invariably infected with it in the first years of life. “The loud cough that children can get, like barking seals, that is typical of NL63,” says van der Hoek. In other words, NL63 is another coronavirus associated with the common cold.

Relatives of NL63 have since been found in pigs, cats and bats. In 2012, genetic comparisons between the human virus and those found in bats indicated that they shared a common ancestor between 563 and 822 years ago. This suggests that the virus made the leap to humans sometime in the 13th to 15th century. When it did, the result was probably a pandemic, says virologist Ralph Baric at the University of North Carolina. Like SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19, the original NL63 would have been deadly in a human population lacking any immunity. Both viruses latch on to the same cell receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, which is plentiful in the lungs and intestines. “This would look like a flu-like disease,” says Baric. “But one that caused more severe disease in the elderly compared to the young.”

Baric would like medical historians to search for evidence of a medieval pandemic, but there is no guarantee they would find any. Back then, people experienced myriad infections, including viruses like flu and bacterial diseases like tuberculosis, says van der Hoek. “I’m not sure a SARS pandemic in the Middle Ages would even be noticed,” she says. However, it is possible that such evidence exists for another, more recent, human coronavirus pandemic. This is where Russian flu enters the story.

Following the SARS outbreak, there was renewed interest in the two seemingly unexciting common cold coronaviruses discovered in the 1960s, HCoV-229E and HCoV-OC43. “These viruses don’t have fancy names, which means they have not been studied very much,” says Marc Van Ranst at KU Leuven in Belgium. “OC43 and 229E were orphan viruses for a long time.” In 2003, he and his team became the first to sequence the genome of OC43, which was discovered in 1967 at the Common Cold Unit in Salisbury, UK. By comparing its sequence with strains found in other animals, the researchers concluded that OC43 must have originated in cattle or pigs. Accounting for expected mutation rates and working backwards, they calculated that the jump into humans occurred around 1890. Sound familiar?

That date isn’t the only thing linking OC43 with Russian flu. Many patients of that pandemic had pronounced symptoms affecting their central nervous system. Today, although mostly associated with mild colds, OC43 is also known to infect nervous tissue. It is a suspect in nervous system conditions such as chronic demyelinating disease and multiple sclerosis. What’s more, a 1994 report of a 6-year-old child contracting a bovine coronavirus suggests cattle strains can indeed sneak into people. If OC43 was the culprit in the 1889/90 pandemic, it has clearly lost its sting in the past 130 years. “It probably lasted a fair number of years, like bad flu seasons, until it slowly lost pathogenesis,” says Van Ranst.


There is a lot more if you follow the links but it may be paywalled



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Old 25th Jul 2021, 09:09
  #16631 (permalink)  
 
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Talking to a medical friend yesterday, he told me that the majority of long Covid cases are anecdotal and self reported, not statically proven.


He reminded me that 1 - 10 of those that are infected by glandular fever will continue to have symptoms and suffer from fatigue more than 6 months afterwards. However to quantify, glandular fever is nowhere near as infectious nor has affected so many individuals at a single time.
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 10:14
  #16632 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by annakm View Post
Talking to a medical friend yesterday, he told me that the majority of long Covid cases are anecdotal and self reported, not statically proven.


He reminded me that 1 - 10 of those that are infected by glandular fever will continue to have symptoms and suffer from fatigue more than 6 months afterwards. However to quantify, glandular fever is nowhere near as infectious nor has affected so many individuals at a single time.
I think your medical friend needs to look in the literature.

https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/...-say-cambridge
https://www.theguardian.com/society/...-of-blood-test
Hard to produce an imagined response to a blood test.

Or imagine organ damage
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...s/art-20490351
https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4470

Review pf Long Covid here:
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg25033403-600-long-covid-do-i-have-it-how-long-will-it-last-and-can-we-treat-it/

Extract:

MORE than a million people in the UK are living with long covid, according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS). And while global figures vary, it is thought that about 14 per cent of people who catch covid-19 end up with lasting symptoms – which is some 25 million people worldwide. This could be a big underestimate, though, because less than 10 per cent of infections are thought to be detected, so the true figure could be nearer 250 million.

What is clear is that even after the pandemic is brought under control, millions of people will be left with lingering symptoms that prevent them from working and enjoying life. Here is what we know so far.

What is long covid?

While there is no universally agreed definition, long covid is often taken to include anyone with medical symptoms persisting for several weeks after an infection with the coronavirus. However, the term is being used quite widely. “It’s actually an umbrella term for a whole constellation of different problems,” says David Oliver, a doctor based in Reading, UK, who has been working with covid-19 patients throughout the pandemic.

“There is so much variation in what people are considering long covid to be,” says Nisreen Alwan at the University of Southampton, UK, who has had long covid.
50-89%
People reporting at least one symptom two months after hospitalisation with covid-19”
According to a report published in March by the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), of which Oliver was an author, people with long covid can be divided into four groups: those experiencing the after-effects of ventilation in intensive care; those with organ damage caused by the virus; those with post-viral fatigue syndrome; and a miscellaneous group that the authors call those with long-term covid syndrome.

The first two groups are relatively familiar to doctors. People who are put on a ventilator for some time experience muscle wasting. After leaving intensive care, they can need months of rehabilitation, during which they gradually raise their exercise capacity.

There may also be clear reasons for organ damage. Any severe chest infection can cause lung scarring. In some people, the virus can increase blood clotting, boosting the risk of heart attacks and stroke. It can also cause an overreaction of the immune system known as a cytokine storm, which can damage organs such as the heart or kidneys.

The next two groups are harder to define and can include people who weren’t admitted to hospital. Post-viral fatigue is long-lasting tiredness, especially in response to only minor exertion, which is sometimes seen after other viral infections, including flu and the Epstein-Barr virus. If it persists for many months, it may be called chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). Fatigue is the most common symptom in people with long covid (see graphs).
30%
The increased risk of long covid for women compared with men”
The NIHR authors use the fourth category, long-term covid syndrome, as a catch-all for any other people with ongoing ill health who don’t fit the other categories. This is needed because of the wide variety of possible symptoms. As well as fatigue, breathlessness and difficulties concentrating or “brain fog”, symptoms can include rashes, heart palpitations or bowel issues.

Using one umbrella term for what could be different conditions means it confuses discussion of prognosis and prevalence. “If you’re looking at prevalence, long covid has to be qualified as to what population you’re looking at, whether it’s people who were hospitalised, not hospitalised or ventilated,” says Sarah Tyson at the University of Manchester, UK, who was on the NIHR report’s steering group.


Most studies of long covid have focused on people admitted to hospital, who tend to be more likely to have long-lasting ill health. Estimates of the number of people reporting at least one symptom two months after infection range from 50 to 89 per cent. This is to be expected, especially in older people, says Oliver O’Sullivan at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Loughborough, UK.

Long covid seems less common in people who aren’t admitted to hospital, although estimates vary depending on how much time has passed after infection. In a survey of people using the Zoe Covid Symptom Study App who had tested positive for covid-19, 4.5 per cent reported symptoms lasting more than two months, and this fell to 2.3 per cent by three months.

This study found that people with worse initial illness, experiencing five or more symptoms in the first week of infection, were more than three times as likely to still have symptoms three months later. But it is possible for people who were only mildly affected initially to still be ill months later, says O’Sullivan.

Who is most at risk?

One puzzling feature is that those most prone to long covid aren’t those most likely to get sick from the initial infection. The biggest risk factor for death from covid-19 is older age, with men being more likely to be admitted to hospital than women. With long covid, on the other hand, women are 30 per cent more likely to get it than men, and 35 to 69-year-olds are the age group most often affected, according to the ONS. That survey also found a higher prevalence in people from deprived areas and in healthcare staff and social care workers, although more women do those jobs so they might be more likely to catch covid in the first place.

There is more. Useful sometimes to do a fact check before posting. Long Covid is a thing.



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Old 25th Jul 2021, 11:09
  #16633 (permalink)  
 
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Pingdemic.

I had the "privilege" of testing Bluetooth before its release when working for them Ericsson retards (the creators of Bluetooth) back in the day.

Though Bluetooth is designed as a short distance air network, its true terrestrial reach is defined by its authorisation protocol (i.e what device am I authorised to connect with that is within useable range of what my antenna can comfortably work with). Sensing devices is very much different to connecting to devices which is very much different to uploading/downloading data from devices in terms of traffic volumes and the necessary error corrections required for the protocol to function correctly at the low power levels bluetooth operates at - any radio engineer can tell you this.

There are reported instances of people being pinged by the app through walls separating apartments. Modern mobile phones incorporate some incredible antennae design, often chip assisted, with gain and signal-to-noise ratios that are unheard of. These antennae gives these modern phones quite an impressive bluetooth sensing range. Although the bluetooth protocol is expecting a standard RF power output and can generally calculate proximity using the classic one-over-distance-squared formula, it is also smart enough to compensate for devices that really want to be connected over longer distances (provided you have a modern antenna).

Perhaps GPS could have saved the day but even that has its flaws. Even the traditional Lorem Ipsum data volume test for transfer reliability doesn't show you're actually sitting in the restaurant next door.

No wonder the public are losing faith in this mis-implementation of the technology, it was originally envisaged for sending e-business cards to colleagues and for printing from your mobile phone to your printer.

The computer says no, or back in my day we used to say, that does not compute.
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 11:28
  #16634 (permalink)  
 
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I wouldn't put great faith in gps either. The error circle on the apps I use for outdoor navigation is greater than 2m and indoors even a specialist device like a Garmin struggles to get a signal at all

Back to the Bluetooth solution. I could not find published performance data but I found this
https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-...e-app-12359278

https://www.digitalhealth.net/2021/0...lation-alerts/

And for benefits of using an app

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03606-z

Last edited by Ninthace; 25th Jul 2021 at 11:48.
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 11:56
  #16635 (permalink)  
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I go back to that brief study by Trinity university and others concerning the variables and accuracy - the results showing the range estimates and pings are, essentially, random.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/irel...tudy-1.4247865

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/cont...tion-bluetooth

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/ar...l.pone.0239943
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 12:43
  #16636 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ninthace View Post

What is long covid?

While there is no universally agreed definition, long covid is often taken to include anyone with medical symptoms persisting for several weeks after an infection with the coronavirus. However, the term is being used quite widely. “It’s actually an umbrella term for a whole constellation of different problems,”

“There is so much variation in what people are considering long covid to be,” says Nisreen Alwan at the University of Southampton, UK, who has had long covid.


There is more. Useful sometimes to do a fact check before posting. Long Covid is a thing.
I imagine these are the points he was also trying to make. Not denying it exists, just that what it is is open to huge interpretation. Not heard it referred to as such, but I’ve known people over the years that have suffered for years with what would now be probably referred to as “long” pneumonia - scarred lungs, pleurisy, exhaustion etc etc.
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 12:50
  #16637 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
I go back to that brief study by Trinity university and others concerning the variables and accuracy - the results showing the range estimates and pings are, essentially, random.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/irel...tudy-1.4247865

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/cont...tion-bluetooth

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/ar...l.pone.0239943
ORAC Your first source is a journalists understanding of a TCD trial examining the weaknesses of on app, It did not conclude the pings were essentially random but said performance can vary according to circumstance. Providing the source paper instead would have been better (https://down.dsg.cs.tcd.ie/tact/tact-pearg-pressie.pdf/). I believe Ireland has its own app, if so this is not a test of the NHS version. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-53322751

Your second source, published last October, is the best even though it cites the same story as your first source so could be regarded as duplicate of your first source. It does discuss the issues with Bluetooth technology but also cites the work being undertaken to address this. It illustrates the problem thus:
“By way of a simple illustration, during the recent Leicester outbreak, the app would have generated ~50 false positives a day in a population of 330,000,” Mark Briers, from the Alan Turing Institute wrote in a blog post in August about the app’s modelling. That modelling has not yet been published."
I do not see that as being a massive failure of the app to the point of abandoning it. The article goes in to discuss how things can be improved,

Your last source is about a test of an app in a Tram! Hardly a typical scenario with NHS software.
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 13:11
  #16638 (permalink)  
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The apps use the same google/app Bluetooth technology.

The construction of a tram is comparable to every bus, train, tram and metro found in the UK- and the type of locations where the majority of people are likely to be in close proximity to the same person for over 15 minutes, especially commuters.
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 16:32
  #16639 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
The apps use the same google/app Bluetooth technology.

The construction of a tram is comparable to every bus, train, tram and metro found in the UK- and the type of locations where the majority of people are likely to be in close proximity to the same person for over 15 minutes, especially commuters.
I would need to book overnight accommodation to get to anywhere that uses trams. If I had been sharing a compartment with anyone that was +ve then, given the confined environment I would like to know. Of course the apps use the same technology but are they all set to the same levels of sensitivity and to the same criteria? I have not seen stories of other countries struggling with a pingdemic. Do they not use apps or have I missed the headlines somewhere?

Deuce!
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 18:08
  #16640 (permalink)  
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Looks like Biris has won his bet - and the rest of the world is watching….

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/b...aked-hc9b06l9t


Big fall in Covid cases suggests third wave has peaked

The number of new reported cases of coronavirus continued to fall amid evidence that the UK had passed the top of its third wave.

Yesterday, 29,173 positive cases were recorded, down from a peak of almost 50,000 a week ago, according to the rolling average. Case levels are now similar to that seen at the end of the first week in July.

The seven-day average of both hospital admissions and deaths continues to rise, reflecting the consequences of infections that happened over the past month, but public health officials are now increasingly confident that both figures should begin to turn too in the next three weeks.

This is the fifth consecutive day of falling cases, and a fall of almost 40 per cent from the figure last Sunday. It is also the first period in which case numbers have been seen to consistently go down since the start of May.

Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia, said he had been expecting a drop, but not one this big.

“I would like to wait until next weekend to see what impact if any [England’s reopening] on Monday 19 has on the epidemic before getting really excited,” he said. “But it’s looking good.”….


The next few days will be key, as infections following England’s reopening filter through. “On the one hand a number of venues are opening, which will push up transmission,” he said. “But we have schools closing, and we know schools have been a main driver of the epidemic.

“I’m hopeful we will not see the big surge in infections that everybody and his dog has been predicting for weeks.”…..
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